Johnston Farms Ramps Up for Citrus Season
EDISON, CA - Now that the year’s penchant for pumpkin spice is behind us, it’s time to make way for another seasonal orange-colored offering: citrus! November is inching closer day by day, meaning it’s just about time to stock up on Johnston Farms’ variety of citrus offerings. Lying in wait of the season’s start date, I tapped the company’s Citrus Sales Manager and Partner Derek Vaughn.
“Johnston Farms and our BlueJay brand focus on being the best tasting high-quality citrus. Our oranges and grapefruit are double graded for quality,” Derek told me. “For the mandarins, we focus primarily on stem and leaf so that our customers know that the product is always fresh.”
The Navel season kicks off a short four days into November, followed by the Stem and Leaf Satsuma Mandarin season on the 11th, and the Red grapefruit season, which falls near the Thanksgiving holiday. With that in mind, I asked Derek how he suggests retailers display and promote Johnston Farms’ citrus during the holidays.
“Our citrus works well in bulk displays because of its high quality,” he said. “We offer high-graphic display bins, as well as end cap retail bins. The updated, high-graphic design will add an extra pop of color to any retail or wholesale display. For Navels and grapefruit, we also have bagging available.”
While the company prepared for a monumental citrus season, it also made improvements to its packing operations. According to Derek, significant mandarin category growth in the last five years has led to a need for increased packing capacity. In anticipation of the upcoming season, the company updated its mandarin packing line to accommodate a greater capacity of 25-30 percent.
“We have added a second line for the washing, waxing, and drying of the fruit along with a palletizer, which will allow 80 percent of the product to be machine stacked,” explained Derek.
In our closing remarks, Derek suggested a shift in focus for the industry.
“With the focus lately being on Murcott and clementine varieties, retailers and wholesalers looking for something that is unique, easy to peel, and has a superior taste should consider the Satsuma mandarin available from mid-November through February,” he concluded.
What an exciting time for Johnston Farms! As we head into the thick of citrus season, AndNowUKnow wishes the best of luck on the company’s efforts. Keep an eye out for more category updates as we uncover the industry’s latest.